Marc Marquez is back at the top of MotoGP
The comeback is over. Marc Marquez returned to the top step of the MotoGP podium with a sensational victory on his beloved Sachsenring.
The Repsol Honda rider stormed into second place at the start of the race and quickly forced Aleix Espargaro to take the lead. As the white flags fluttered and a few raindrops began to fall, Marquez pulled the pin, opening up a two-second lead.
Moto2: Remy Gardner takes his third straight win in 2021
Miguel Oliveira gave everything to stop Marquez, but after getting his tires under control, Marquez was able to pull away again in the final laps. The distance never fell below 0.9s.
It is Marquez’s eleventh win in a row on the German circuit and Honda’s first since his success at the 2019 Valencia Grand Prix – 581 days ago. He is only the second driver to have eight wins in a row in the premier class on the same track, one behind the great Giacomo Agostini, who holds the record with nine in Imatra.
Mentally, today’s result will be fantastic for Marquez and HRC’s confidence in the future. Your worst run since returning to the premier class in 1982 is over.
Oliveira crossed the finish line in second, taking his third consecutive podium in 2021, while championship leader Fabio Quartararo completed the podium for Monster Energy Yamaha. The Frenchman now has a 22-point lead in the championship standings.
Brad Binder made sure that both Red Bull KTM riders finished in the top four. It is the South African’s best result of the season so far and his second top 5 result in three races. Francesco Bagnaia stormed through the field in the second half of the race and finished fifth ahead of his team-mate Jack Miller.
Aleix Espargaro fell back to seventh in the closing stages after leading early on, while Johann Zarco, Joan Mir and Pol Espargaro completed the top 10 in Germany. Alex Rins and Jorge Martin finished 11th and 12th respectively, ahead of Takaaki Nakagami and Valentino Rossi.
Elsewhere, it was a nightmare day for Maverick Vinales and Franco Morbidelli. The latter fell back on the first lap and hobbled to the finish in 18th, while Vinales, who started 21st, couldn’t make any real progress and crossed the finish line in 19th.
Danilo Petrucci and Alex Marquez came together on turn one on lap five of the race. The duo then quarreled in the gravel, but the race management took no further action. On the following lap, Lorenzo Savadori’s race ended at Turn 10.
MotoGP Sachsenring: Johann Zarco secures his first pole in 2021
First published: June 19, 2021 by Josh Close
Johann Zarco dramatically clinched his first pole position of the 2021 season at the Sachsenring.
The Pramac Racing Ducati rider ousted championship leader Fabio Quartararo with a 1: 20.236 just before losing the lead at high speed at turn four. The Frenchman looks a little windy but was able to get off his Ducati without help.
Moto3: Filip Salac secures his first pole position
It is Zarco’s first MotoGP pole since the Czech Grand Prix in Brno last season, and his performance also ends Quartararo’s run of five consecutive pole positions. It is Zarco’s sixth MotoGP pole position and he has achieved that award with three different teams – Tech3 Yamaha, Avintia Ducati and now Pramac Racing Ducati. Zarco also put its KTM RC16 in the front row in Brno in 2019.
Quartararo stayed in second place (+0.011 seconds) after failing to beat his main title rival. However, Quartararo won’t be too concerned given the steady racing pace he showed earlier in the day.
The French duo is supported in the front row by Aleix Espargaro. It is the Spaniard’s first front row on the grid with Aprilia and his first overall win since the Dutch TT at Assen in 2015. It shows the constantly improving performance of the RS-GP in the hands of Espargaro.
Jack Miller had to settle for fourth place after going too deep in the last corner on his last flying lap. The Aussie was unbeatable in the first sector of the round but continued to lose crucial time in the third sector.
The Aussie is supported in the second row by Marc Marquez and Miguel Oliveira. It’s Marquez’s best qualifying result since his injury. Rookie Jorge Martin finished seventh while Pol Espargaro, Takaaki Nakagami and Francesco Bagnaia completed the top 10. Nakagami crashed on turn one in the last few seconds of the session.
The start of Q1 was delayed due to a power failure in the pit lane. Some teams, including Repsol Honda, have been without power for a while. Brad Binder couldn’t get out of this Q1 session and missed a place in Q2 by just 0.036 seconds.
Behind him, the rookie duo Luca Marini and Enea Bastianini qualified in 14th and 15th respectively ahead of Valentino Rossi on the Petronas Yamaha. The qualifying problems of reigning champion Joan Mir continued in 17th place. It is Mir’s worst starting position of the season and for the second time in four races he qualified outside the top 10.
Alex Rins, who had to go through Q1, and Alex Marquez rounded off the Q2 qualification this afternoon.
Franco Morbidelli starts his fastest lap of the session in 18th place after a fall in the last corner. The Italian was on course for a place in the top two before his fall.
Danilo Petrucci qualified 19th ahead of Tech3-KTM team-mate Iker Lecouna, who crashed into turn one in the closing stages of the session. Behind them, Maverick Vinales had a nightmare session in 21st place – his worst MotoGP qualifying performance of all time. Vinales’ problems started in FP3 when, while holding a Q2 qualifying spot, he crashed into turn one with a few minutes remaining. As a result, Vinales lost his place in Q2 and was visibly frustrated in FP4 as well.
Lorenzo Savadori completes the MotoGP grid after a quick fall on Turn 12. Tomorrow’s MotoGP race starts at 1:00 pm (UK).
MotoGP Sachsenring: Miguel Oliveira ends the opening day at the top
First published: June 18, 2021 by Josh Close
Miguel Oliveira continued his positive form on Friday and led the overall standings after the first two practice sessions at the Sachsenring.
The Red Bull KTM rider, winner of the Spanish Grand Prix, set a best lap time of 1: 20.690, an impressive 0.220s faster than the 2021 single-lap champion, Fabio Quartararo. The Frenchman is aiming for the sixth pole position in a row this weekend.
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Quartararo recovered from a major crash during the FP1 session this morning. The Frenchman went down at the bottom of the hill and turned 12. Quartararo seemed uncomfortable as he got back on his feet after hitting his right shoulder – luckily, it looked like it was no serious damage would have occurred.
Maverick Vinales completed the top 3 on the second factory Yamaha M1 and was just 0.054 seconds behind Alex Rins. Pol Espargaro was the leading Honda in fifth place despite suffering two falls throughout the day. The Repsol Honda rider fell on turn three in FP1 before hitting the deck on the same corner in FP2.
Takaaki Nakagami finished sixth overall ahead of Aleix Espargaro and Johann Zarco, while Jack Miller and Franco Morbidelli completed the top 10. All six manufacturers were in the top 10, with Oliveira and Morbidelli only 0.538 seconds apart.
Danilo Petrucci jumped to 11th place in the closing stages, while Marc Marquez finished the opening day in 12th place. Marquez, who has won his last 10 races at the Sachsenring, led the FP1 this morning and reminded people in the paddock of what he is capable of on this track. The left-handed course, including 10 left turns, will favor Marquez’s injured arm / shoulder this weekend.
Elsewhere, rookie Jorge Martin finished his first day on the German circuit as a MotoGP rider in 14th place and recovered from a fall at Turn 12 in FP1. Sachsenring newcomer Brad Binder finished 15th ahead of the reigning champion Joan Mir.
Luca Marini had an eventful day as 18th. The Italian crashed on the last corner at the beginning of FP2 before taking a quick crash in the final seconds of the session at corner seven.
Valentino Rossi’s disappointing year continued in 21st place. The nine-time world champion crashed on the first corner in FP2 and looked rejected as he stepped off his M1. Rumors continue to circulate that Rossi will announce his retirement from MotoGP in the coming weeks.
Francesco Bagnaia, member of the VR46 Academy, finished the first day at the end of the timesheets and has a lot to do on Saturday morning if he wants to avoid Q1.
Saturday’s FP3 session starts at 8:55 a.m. (UK), followed by FP4 at 12:30 p.m. and Q1 at 1:10 p.m. Q2 will follow at 1:35 p.m.